1. ALI SHAHEED MUHAMMAD: I mean, you know you carry New York. I don’t know if you know it, but to me, you’re of that KRS ilk. And there’s not a lot of that. And where we are now, 2014 and moving forward — everything that you’ve done is great, but with where you are now, with the passion for the studio —

    JOELL ORTIZ: I gotta — cause this is a moment. This feels crazy. I’d love to. I’d love to continue to make good music. I’d love to do 150 more Joell Ortiz albums. You can’t promise it.

    Joell Ortiz on Microphone Check 

  2. This is The Mountain Goats’ johndarnielle on nprfreshair talking about his novel Wolf in White Van, self destruction, The Incredible Hulk, and, of course, heavy metal

  3. Nick Cave is the subject of a different kind of rock documentary called 20,000 Days on Earth, which attempts to debunk the creative process for what it actually is: “It is just hard labor.”

  4. ALI SHAHEED MUHAMMAD: You have to listen to it from beginning to end. You can’t — you cannot dissect one part of it. If you do, then you just – you’re in the wrong neighborhood.

    TAJAI: … Like the music that’s on our record, jazz guys are gonna listen to it and be like, “I need to get me one of those.” Or funk guys are gonna be like, “Oooh, that was funky!” Like it’s not just the hip-hop record in that case, and so maybe that’s kind of what gives us our against the grain thing — is that we’re not going out to set a precedent for best rap record. We’re trying to make records like Innervisions orSuperfly or something like that and we just happen to be MCs.

    Souls of Mischief on Microphone Check

  5. The new book The History of Rock N Roll in Ten Songs is missing everything you would expect.

    Photo: Rob Verhorst/Redferns

  6. Relationships are complicated, and as Cary Ann Hearst says of her marriage and Shovels & Rope musical partner Michael Trent, “It’s a strange thing to be held accountable as part of the musical act.”

    Photo: Molly Hayes

  7. LISTEN: Fuzz-rock mastermind Ty Segall spins a few of his favorite records on All Songs Considered and explains how he changed everything to make his new album Manipulator.

  8. ALI SHAHEED MUHAMMAD: So to expand the scope outside of Flatbush into the New York culture and lifestyle — how does that shape you guys? Because your lyrics are beyond the universe.

    ISSA: Yeah, I’m happy you said that, cause that was gonna be my answer to it. I feel like that goes back to what I was saying about New York and Brooklyn and Flatbush being at our root because I don’t really make music to try and revive New York. I find we get thrown into that. And it’s awesome that we get thrown into that, but it’s like, I have a universal perspective. I’m trying to make music for the universe. I mean — that sounded weird.

    The Underachievers on Microphone Check

  9. I want to start with a song, something that if I had written it 50 years before now, it would have meant something and today it’s gonna mean something and 50 years from now its gonna mean something.

    Smokey Robinson on “I Second That Emotion” in a guest DJ session on All Songs Considered

  10. Billy Joe Shaver writes country songs — and lives them, too